By the end of 2016, ten X-Men films will have released theatrically and as far we know, none of them include one of the most important and popular characters: Cable. But just like Cable's origin and stories in Marvel Comics, it's just a matter of time before he's introduced.
When Cable co-creator Rob Liefeld (who also co-created Deadpool) first attended meetings with producers at Twentieth Century Fox after X-Men Origins: Wolverine debuted to discuss future X-Men projects, he came out telling his fans what he told them - that Cable and Deadpool didn't need to be introduced in a team-up. Deadpool should get his own movie he believed. Now here we are with the first trailers releasing yesterday for the Deadpool solo film which opens in theaters in February.
And just as any fan can speculate, especially knowing Fox commissioned scripts for both an X-Force movie, and more recently, a New Mutants film, Cable is coming (he's a key factor in both of those series). Liefeld said as much last year. As for when, if he's not secretly introduced in X-Men: Apocalypse or in Wolverine 3 in 2017, it could very well be in the Deadpool sequel. After all, the time-travelling mutant soldier from the future did share a comic series with Deadpool for years in the books. The two go together hand-in-hand and Ryan Reynolds agrees.
While breaking down and explaining the Deadpool trailer and San Diego Comic-Con footage, director Tim Miller spoke about one of the new characters introduced in the movie: an apprentice to X-Men hero Colossus known as Negasonic Teenage Warhead.
"I went through the list of Marvel characters and picked a few others I thought could be visually spectacular and fun. And at the end of that list was Negasonic, which I just thought was a freaky, funny name. And I sent this list over to the writers, Rhett (Reese) and Paul (Wernick), and they were like, 'Oh my fucking god, we have to use her!' So that’s how she ended up in the movie. Her name was cool, and we kind of wanted a straight-man to play against Colossus. We thought about Cannonball, but he would’ve been a stupid hick character, whereas the guys wrote Negasonic as this deadpan goth teen, which was a great angle. She turned out really well. There aren’t really many definitive Deadpool villains, apart from Cable. If we don’t put Cable in Deadpool 2 I think we’ll be run out of town on a rail."
The last line, a joke about the fan desire (and perhaps, growing impatience) to see Cable on screen, is not really a joke at all. If Deadpool is successful enough to warrant a direct followup, it's a safe bet Cable will be involved. It would almost be strange not to include him given the importance of time-travel in the franchise ever since X-Men: Days of Future Past. We wouldn't be surprised to see it play into X-Men: Apocalypse in some way either - a movie by the way, that producer Simon Kinberg teased could include Cable as well.
Having Cable in the X-Men film franchise could help bridge together the different timelines the franchise is currently employing, and simultaneously serve as the bridge character to New Mutants and X-Force. He was after all, rumored to be on the X-Force team but that project may have been scrapped in favor of The New Mutants since it dealt with some of the stuff now featured in Bryan Singer's X-Men: Apocalypse.
In the comics, there are two versions of the character - one a future son of X-Men leader Cyclops (who's being re-introduced in Apocalypse) and the other (the Ultimate version) is a future version of Wolverine who has mostly lost his healing factor (and an arm). The latter version would give the studio a way to keep Hugh Jackman around while giving him something different to do. Maybe that's what Jackman meant when saying he's putting the claws away after Wolverine 3. Doesn't mean he can't stick around and use a big gun instead...
And again, watch the Deadpool trailer if you haven't.
Fantastic Four opens in theaters on August 7, 2015, followed by Deadpool on February 12, 2016; X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016; Gambit on October 7, 2016; Wolverine 3 on March 3, 2017; Fantastic Four 2 on June 9, 2017; and some as-yet unspecified X-Men film on July 13, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.
Header from Avengers: X-Sanction #1 cover art by Ed McGuinness. Deadpool vs. Cable art from Cable Vol 2 #13 variant cover by Ariel Olivetti.